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Lauren Dalis is a Reading mom and the Area Director of Marketing for three Simon Malls you’re probably familiar with: Northshore Mall, Liberty Tree Mall and Square One Mall. She balances a busy career with mom life and has both Santa and the Easter Bunny on speed dial! We’re thrilled to share this Meet a Mom interview with you and hope you’ll enjoy “meeting” Lauren as much as we did!

Where are you from originally and what town do you live in now?
I grew up in Stoneham, MA and now I live in Reading, MA.

How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
I have one son, Carson, and he is one and a half years old. (And a four-year old dog named Clyde, who is sometimes more work than my human child).

What’s your favorite family activity on the North Shore?
The beaches and boating are great all summer long, but we really enjoy bringing the whole family (including our four-legged fur-child!) to Good Harbor Beach in the winter and fall months. We also enjoy the fall festivities at so many of the local orchards and farms.

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Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop on the North Shore?
The restaurants and shops at Northshore Mall, of course! 😉 But seriously, all of our food choices are fantastic. My personal and current favorites have been Legal Sea Foods and the Café Bistro at Nordstrom. Outside of the mall, I also really enjoy The Stone’s Common House Kitchen in Stoneham, MA—great vibe and even better food. Highly recommend. My favorite clothing stores include H&M (they have amazing baby and kids’ sections and they are a very eco-conscious company), DSW, Sephora, Nordstrom and Macy’s. I also will often come home with treats from our locally-owned businesses like Boston Barkery, Harbor Sweets, and The Branch Olive Oil Company. I also love hunting for the bargains over at Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack at Liberty Tree Mall.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
It may not be surprising, but I’ve always had a job–since I was 16 years old. I have worked the shopping center industry for almost 15 years, but before this job (which I started as a Marketing Intern at Burlington Mall), most of my younger work experience was in libraries—shelving and checking out books. I also had a retail job in college at the Gift Shop at the New England Aquarium, which was a lot of fun. (Another more-shocking fun fact: I have never owned a denim jacket.)

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You’re the Area Director of Marketing for the north shore area. Tell us a little about that role.
I am the Marketing Director for three Simon Malls: Northshore Mall, Liberty Tree Mall and Square One Mall. The role is sometimes difficult to explain because it encompasses A LOT of different pieces. Overall, I’m in charge of marketing the centers, which includes aspects of social media & digital promotion, event planning and execution, PR strategy, overseeing customer service and our Simon Giftcard program at each mall – like I said – A LOT of pieces to juggle! I also handle most of the community relations and work to support to individual retailers and restaurants. And last but not least, I oversee the Santa and Easter Bunny Photo programs. (I can’t wait for my son to fully understand that his mom is friends with Santa Claus and has him on speed dial).

lauren-dalisWe all know that you go to the mall to shop, but what are some other reasons moms should consider visiting the Northshore Mall?
I’m so glad you asked! Aside from our indoor play area, where children can burn off some energy no matter the weather outside, we offer family-friendly restrooms, and fun entertainment options like Aloha Mini Glow Golf and Build-A-Bear Workshop. We also just launched FAMILY at Northshore Mall. We have a great overview of the family program on our website that has special itineraries and family “to-do’s”, like a mommy-daughter day out, summer fun, and more! Find some examples at: simon.com/mall/northshore-mall/family#todos.
Moms (and Dads) can enroll in Simon Family right on the site and also receive exclusive deals and access to our year-round events. It’s free to join!

What is the best piece of mom advice you ever received?
I’m only a year and a half into this role of “mom,” so I know I have a lot more advice coming my way… but when my son was an infant, someone said: “Don’t compare yourself to other moms, because your baby doesn’t know the difference.”

Social media can be really intimidating, especially for a first-time mom who was never comfortable around infants until I had my own. I would see my friends and other super-moms posting about magical beach days with their infants, traveling overseas with their little babies, hiking mountains and just doing really cool things that were a little outside my comfort zone as a new mom. (Don’t get me wrong; we got around. But some days, a trip to the grocery store felt like a challenge to me). I started to feel guilty or like I wasn’t doing “enough” with my little family. It took someone saying to me “Your four month old is not going to know whether or not he was at the beach. He won’t remember it. If dragging a cooler, a pack and play, a sun tent, diapers, formula, etc. on a 90 degree day is going to create more stress than joy for you, then what’s the point of going and why are you feeling bad about not going?”

At that point, I came to the realization that everyone parents differently. Some moms are more adventurous than others… and that’s awesome! Just because my son wasn’t dipping his toes in the ocean before he could sit up on his own, or going on his first airplane ride during my maternity leave didn’t make me a bad mom, or less of a mom. And for the record, he has now dipped his toes plenty, been on an airplane and he was a champ!

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